Predator/Prey Research Technician, U.S. Geological Survey

From: “Nolan, Benjamin S” <>
Subject: Predator/Prey Research Technician, U.S. Geological Survey

Job Description:

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Boulder City, NV field station is recruiting field technicians to assist with research projects investigating black-tailed jackrabbit and coyote predator-prey interactions and ecology in southern Nevada. The majority of duties will be fieldwork based and will primarily include, but are not limited to:

*   Assisting in capturing, marking, and fitting GPS/VHF collars for jackrabbits and coyotes.
*   Using radio telemetry to monitor jackrabbit movement and behavior.
*   Retrieving, downloading, and troubleshooting radio/GPS transmitters and data loggers.
*   Collecting tissue samples (blood, tissue, DNA, parasites) and morphological measurements.
*   Investigating jackrabbit mortalities and identifying causative factors.
*   Maintaining a network of camera traps, and sorting camera trap photos/video.
*   Assisting in nocturnal spotlight line distance and other surveys for jackrabbits.
*   Performing vegetation surveys to characterize habitats.
*   Managing and maintaining large datasets.
*   Using Excel, relational databases, ArcMap, and R to enter, organize, QA/QC, and analyze data
*   Assisting with the day-to-day operations of field research (preparing supplies, vehicle and equipment maintenance).
*   Participating in other research projects as assigned.

The data that are collected will be used to analyze predator and prey population trends, movement patterns, microsite selection, diet, and home range characteristics, as well as aid in the understanding of how habitat and environmental parameters influence distribution, abundance, and food habits.

We are seeking applicants in great physical condition and capable of hiking long distances over rugged desert terrain in 110°F+ temperatures, all while carrying a 30 pound pack. Significant amounts of night work are required, including surveys and capture activities for jackrabbits. The applicant must have or be willing to obtain a current rabies vaccine. A positive attitude, flexibility, attention to detail, interest in ecological research, ability to strictly follow data collection protocols, and the ability to work well both independently and as part of a team are also requirements. Experience with mammalian capture and handling, radio telemetry, Mojave Desert plant identification, ArcGIS, and data analysis in R is preferred. This project has recently expanded to include both lethal and non-lethal Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2) sampling. There may be some opportunity to work on these new disease sampling aspects of the project. As such, previous experience with biological sampling is desirable. Work-related firearms experience is beneficial, but not required.

Schedules are highly variable, can change with little notice, and will often require early morning or late evening start times, long days, and a few weekends of work.

This temporary position is scheduled to begin in July or August 2021 and extend for up to 180 working days (approximately 9 months). Extensions may be possible, contingent upon performance and funding availability.

Qualifications: 3 years of college with courses related to biological sciences (equivalent to 90 semester/135 quarter hours) plus 3 months of lab or field work experience; or 9 months of field experience; or 3 years of sub-professional experience. A valid U.S. driver’s license and a pre-employment physical are required. All applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Salary: GG-0404-05, $17.15 hourly, plus paid vacation and sick days.

Application instructions:  E-mail resume, cover letter detailing your interest and qualifications, and contact information for at least three references in one PDF document to using the format Lastname_Firstname_USGSPredatorPrey.PDF (e.g. Nolan_Benjamin_USGSPredatorPrey.PDF) by 11:59 PM PDT on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. For each position on your resume, please be sure to include the number of hours worked per week, as well as exact start and end dates (month/day/year). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

If claiming 5 point veterans’ preference, a DD-214 showing character of discharge is required.  If claiming 10 point veterans’ preference, a SF-15 with proof of claim is required.